Federal Relations

July 27, 2020

Will We See More Appropriations and Senate “COVID 4.0” This Week?

After adopting a four-bill spending package for FY2021 last week, the House is currently scheduled to take up an even larger seven-bill “minibus” later this week, H.R. 7617.The legislation combines the FY2021 Defense, Commerce-Justice-Science, Energy and Water Development, Labor-HHS-Education, Financial Services-General Government, Homeland Security, and Transportation-HUD measures.  As we noted last week, the Senate has yet to move on even a single spending bill.

Meanwhile, over the on the Senate side of the Capitol, we may finally see this week a set of proposals that represents the Senate Republican wish list for a “COVID 4.0” relief package.  The Senate Republican leadership had hoped to unveil something last week but could not work out differences among themselves and with the White House.  The goal is to unveil a proposal this week so that they can start negotiating with the Democratic House, which passed the the HEROES Act in May as its marker for negotiations.  There is pressure to act as quickly as possible as a number of benefits from the CARES Act are scheduled to expire very soon, including expanded unemployment benefits.